“I hate my job”: Ten signs to show you are ‘doing time’ at work

I Hate My Job: Ten signs to show you are ‘doing time’ at work

“I hate my job”: Ten signs to show you are ‘doing time’ at work

Remember when you were a child and you had to clean your room, do the dishes, mow the lawn or perform some duty you didn’t want to but you did it because you had to (without consideration of why doing that chore was important)? Is it possible that for many of us, this feeling is alive and well in our adult lives in our relationship with work?

Have you ever uttered (or shouted) the words, “I hate my job”?

A recent Gallup poll[i] shows that despite incentives and extras, 70% of people surveyed hate their job or are completely disengaged at work. That figure is astounding.

Are you one of the seemingly few who loves their work?

And/or are you ‘doing time’ serving a prison sentence at work?

If you can relate to the idea of work being a prison sentence, or to any of the ten signs below, or have said “I hate my job”, chances are you are ‘doing time’ at work:

  • Taking sickies as much as you can get away with
  • Counting down to your holidays
  • Eating to dull the pain of being at work – salty, sweet, caffeinated relief.
  • Resenting any minute worked over your finish time
  • Arriving as close to start time as possible and leaving as early as possible
  • Looking busy but doing the bare minimum required
  • Interspersing your day with social media, texting, internet searches or personal calls and other distractions
  • Being cranky, heavy, snappy, sluggish or tired as you drag your way through the day
  • Enjoying running the company down with fellow disgruntled workers
  • Ticking the days off on your calendar as retirement is a finish line you can’t wait to cross

What is it about our relationship with work that can make it seem so miserable?

Mmmm. Could this have something to do with us? I know we can all say it’s the workplace’s fault, our boss’ fault etc etc – there’s always something to criticise … but what if there is something that we can actually do to stop feeling like we’re running a prison sentence? Isn’t that at least worth considering? Surely yes, given most people are so miserable at work.

In other words, do we feel miserable at work because of our workplace (which is where our minds tend to go first), or do we actually have something to do with it?

By understanding more about our relationship with work – we realise there may be more to it than meets the eye.

If we let our focus be not on the rules or the length of your ‘sentence’ (‘doing time’), but on us, ourselves, and how we are at work, perhaps this just may change everything…

We can sometimes feel that the money, or perks are what makes work feel better for us, but, what if it’s not about what we get from work e.g. money, recognition, perks, security – that makes us feel great at work, but the way we ourselves are at work, and the ‘quality’ that we bring to work? In other words, do we come in miserable and anti-work, or do we come in open? What if this quality starts with how we treat ourselves way before we even get to work?

Next time the words “I hate my job” come up, it could be a time to check in and understand more about your relationship with work starting with a focus on what sort of ‘you’ you are bringing to your job – for instance do you feel defensive, depleted, angry, disappointed, suspicious, tired, disgruntled, given up or ready for a fight? If we come into work like that, then what sort of day are we likely to have?

If we take a moment to ask ourselves how much we look after ourselves during our working day, or in preparation to go to work, we may find that the answer is actually, “Not a lot”. Do you rush, forget your lunch, or not give yourself enough time to prepare all you need for that day? Gosh – most if not all of us could relate to that, couldn’t we? Doesn’t all of this affect how we actually feel when we walk in the door to work, and while we are at work?

Whilst at work do we ensure we are taking care of basics such as our own hydration levels?

If the answer to any or all of these is no, then it is very possible that this is a huge part of why we don’t feel so great at work.

Imagine if you felt truly supported by the way you have taken care of yourself, including whilst at work. This after all sets the foundation for our day. And that is just the very beginning…

We can start by looking at how much of an impact the way we prepare ourselves for work, or the mood or ‘quality’ of the way we are has on our work and all we do.

The child having to clean up their room is disgruntled because they seem to have no choice but ‘have to’ do what they have not willingly chosen to. When work is a ‘have to’ and not a choice, we end up saying “I hate my job”, but is it really so, or is it the seeming powerlessness over your life that is more the disturbing factor for you?

If we take responsibility for our own relationship with ourselves first, in looking at all the choices that ‘left our room messy’ in the first place is an amazingly empowering place to start.

Cleaning up your life and job actually feels great, not because you have to but for the simple, priceless understanding and presence that developing order, commitment and dedication to yourself can bring.

Perhaps we can come to realise we have more choices about the way we are and feel at work than we had otherwise thought. And that in turn can support us to be at work with a deeper consideration for ourselves. Who knows, you may even begin to enjoy work again and rather than saying ‘I hate my job’ you may find yourself saying “I love my job”.


  • [i]

    Gallop Poll http://www.today.com/money/americans-hate-their-jobs-even-perks-dont-help-6C10423977

Filed under

AbsenteeismCareerDepressionMental healthWork life balanceOverwhelmBurnout

  • By Adrienne Ryan

    I’ve always been interested in understanding the underlying cause and effect behind what we experience in life and for this the heart is the greatest teacher any student could have.